We Change the World!: A Celebration of International Women’s Day

By Brie Bristol

AMHERST – On Thursday, Mar. 7, the University of Massachusetts Amherst celebrated women around the world with an “International Women’s Day Celebration.” The event, coordinated by the Center for Women & Community, was held in New Africa House, with special food, speakers, and performances from 4 to 6 p.m.  

“It’s empowerment in a positive sense,” said Sarah Danforth, educator advocate for CWC, when discussing how the event brings connections between women through networking. She discussed that she’s attended the event to have first hand “meaningful work [to be] connected on this campus.”

Open to all, the event hosted around  60 persons, including women of all ethnicities, a few men, and even children – most took turns coloring in pictures of their favorite inspirational women, such as Frida Kahlo.

Children and adults were invited to draw inspirational women figures (Brie Bristol/Rebirth Project)

As several children ran around the room, local poet and educator Amina Jordan-Mendez performed three pieces expressing her femininity, family, and black girl joy. She believes that conversations with young people being silenced, and that her poems allow for her to speak for them. Jordan-Mendez continued to explain, after her performance, that the more we speak up and tear away from silence, the better society will be for women and for all.

Poet-performer Amina Jordan-Mendez recites one of her pieces (Brie Bristol/Rebirth Project)

As a slideshow played in the background, it laid out quick facts about the history of International Women’s Day – such as the celebration’s beginnings in 1910 on an international scale to support the movement for women’s rights.

A Colombian inspired dance group performs (Brie Bristol/Rebirth Project)

To close out the event, a Columbian inspired dance group swept the audience away with their flag-colored dresses and vibrant head pieces.

Hillary Johnson, a public health science student, felt that the event was a good showcase put on by CWC in anticipation of the century-old celebration on Mar. 8.

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